This post was written by Bhasmank Mehta, Posted on 7th March 2016,Updated on 9th March 2016
Whilst this thesis is based on Religious and Civilisation turn-around within the Hindu religion, I have also found references within the Bible. It also boasts of similarities, albeit the story of the Bible is just over 6,000 years old, it matches and fits finely within the third quarter of the article. Some references of Bible:
For a thousand years in Your sight are like a day that has just gone by, or like a watch in the night – Psalm 90:4
Adam lived 930 years, and then he died – Genesis 5:5
The contents herein can be elaborated even further. For now, consider this to be a summary of the longer version to be made available when additional evidence is uncovered. (Watch this space)
The Vedas (Hindu Scriptures) have established that so far there have been four Yuga’s (Era’s). We are currently experiencing the fourth Era. However, during all of these times – from the beginning of the first Era – one thing has been common amongst us, the Time; or should I say, the lack of it.
Time, I would have you know is one thing we do not have; not for our friends, our families, our loved ones, not even for ourselves. Least of all, for the God Almighty whose assistance we seek to liberate us; for our Salvation!
Time does not know the rich from the poor, anorexic to obese. It does not care about the ethnicity nor does it care about the religion. It, the Time that is, waits for absolutely no one.
As far as time is concerned, we are the biggest enemies of it. It’s surprising just how it controls us rather then us controlling it! Within a course of the day, just ask yourself how often do you think, ‘only if I had more time’ or ‘wish there were more then 24 hours in a day’ or ‘give me a break, I’m busy, I don’t have time’ … or something to that effect. How many times does one get frustrated for no specific reason but for running out of time?
What happens next is that one gets annoyed, frustrated and finally gets angry. We then blame the situation on everyone else but ourselves. We shout at the first person to cross our path. After all, whose fault was it in the first place anyway?
You will notice that the minute’s hand on a wrist-watch takes just as long to go around the dial as it does for the one on a clock such as the Big Ben. Yet, the outer point of the minute’s hand of the Big Ben travels greater distance and also requires greater amount of energy. It also appears to be travelling at a slower pace. More like a leisurely pace. The fact is that the minutes hands from the clock take up same amount of time to go round as does the minute hand of that wrist-watch. It’s only an optical illusion. More importantly, the point being that we tend to work like the hand on the clock. Use up too much energy, work lot longer and carry out lots of unnecessary and feeble chit-chat to justify how busy we are.
Now sit back and relax. Think! On occasions we are running out of time like the hand on the watch that appears to move fast. Then again, at other times, we tend to laze around as if we own the clock; until! Until we realise that we are running out of time and need to rush things through, but alas! Too late! The clock has once again beaten us and once again we are in the same predicament. We just do not have time for ourselves or for anyone else. Not even for God. We just do not manage our time properly, do we?
We never have any time, least of all for our saviour, the GOD himself. The only time we ever seem to recall asking for His help is when we are in difficulty; when we are at our lowest ebb; when things are just not going the way we want them to etc., etc.; So much so that we even do not have time to thank him for our next meal that we are about to consume.
Now if you thought this is a recent (modern times) phenomenon, you are mistaken. This has been exactly the same situation as far back as I can trace.
If you must know, this has been the same situation during all four Yugas. Satyug, Tretayug, Dwaparyug and of course, the present time, the Kaliyug. Albeit, the life spans have been different and therefore the stories may seem much exaggerated but the subject matter is still relevant to this day:
During Satyug, people used to meditate for long periods; very long, beyond our imagination. There are many an examples of these within our holy books. Just to name a couple, Parvatiji (daughter of Himalaya) had to meditate for 3000 years so as to please Lord Shiva. Bhakt Dhroova, despite attaining a boon from Lord Vishnu in a short period of his life, had to meditate for 30,000 years for salvation. Such meditation was very much time consuming for humans but the only way to Salvation. To think that at the beginning of this Yuga, the life span was estimated to be 100,000 years, this span of meditation did not appear to be unreasonable.
So, after much deliberation they approached the divinities and requested a reduction in time for meditation so that they could have – much sought after – time for themselves. The Lords agreed and suggested that instead of meditation, they performed Yagnas. (Yagna is where people – mostly couples – along with the priest sit around the fire – More on this subject will be added under its own heading also known as Havan.) However, since you will be spending lesser amount of time singing the praises and meditating, I will also have to reduce your life span accordingly. This was reduced to just 10,000 years.
It thus followed that during Tretayug, people started to perform Yagnas. Once again, we read throughout the ancient Hindu Puranas that kings, saints, noblemen alike performed variety of Yagnas. Despite the simplicities of it, no one agreed that Yagnas were easy to perform. It may not be as time consuming as meditation but surely took up a lot of time protecting it. Yagna, the dictionary description: (a) a ceremonial performance of a sacrifice, (b) self-sacrifice for public welfare and (c) benevolence. Traditionally, this ceremony must be performed without any breaks, any interruptions. The devils of the day used to try their best to break up the Yagnas. This caused the performance of Yagnas to be time consuming. Prime examples include Vishwamitra asking King Dashratha to send his sons Lord Rama and his brother Laxman to protect the Yagna Vishwamitra wished to complete. These yagnas took many, many years to complete. Since then we can read numerous accounts of yagnas being performed including Ashwamegh Yagna wherein Lord Shree Ram tried to perform a ceremony without His wife Sita seated next to Him. He actually placed a statuette next to Him. The yagna remained incomplete because the Ashwa – the knighted horse – was stopped by His sons Love and Kush leading to a war between father and his sons.
Once again, as you can be imagined, there was less time remaining for oneself. One more time, the devotees approached the divines and requested a reduction in time needed to praise the Lord(s).One more time the Lord agreed. The Deities suggested that we no longer perform the Yagnas but conduct some charitable duties. The condition, however, will remain same that since there was going to be less time spent to praise the Lord, consequently there would be proportionately shorter lifespan.
A new era was born. In Dwaparyug the lifespan was reduced to 1,000 years. A lot of charitable work was carried out. As we examine the contents of the epic Mahabharat, we read a lot of charitable acts being carried out. The eldest brother amongst the Pandus, Yudhishthir was well known for his charitable acts. That’s why he was also known as Daanwir or winner of most charitable acts performed. As we now know, it takes a lot to earn the kind of money, time and effort that one endures so as to be able to donate to such an extent. Resultant factor being that if one spends more time earning that sort of funds for donatation, there is less time left for oneself. The time, once again, has been in distinct short supply.
Yes, you guessed it; the devotees yet again approached the divine being. May we please have your utmost consideration to reduce the time needed to praise the Lord? You know we mean well; but we really need some time for ourselves and our families. Please do something; please guide us through your wisdom. Show us the way forward so that not only can we be pleasing you but also have time for ourselves. By now, the Lord is getting used to these feeble requests. He is becoming familiar how this goes. Always disorganised; always running out of time, always asking the Lord to be lenient. Despite this, He makes yet another concession:
From now on, the Lord had confirmed, we would no longer have to spend so much time trying to please him. Although the lifespan would only be down to mere 100 years, all we were asked to do was to acknowledge and sing his praises once a day for just few minutes. Only once a day! Once! Was that too much to ask for? One questions? So the Kaliyug was born. [If we then believe that the life span has been progressive rather then an overnight change, by the end of this, the Kaliyug (the Iron Age), it is anticipated that an average life span will be just 10 years (20 for few chosen ones) and the only food available will be meat. As described in the article Yuga’s (Era’s)
This is further assisted by the fact that during the times of Adam, the age for conceiving was 140 whereas we now know that a child as young as 8 has conceived recently.] Just over 5,000 years into this Yug and despite having won such major and wonderful concessions, we still do not appear to have mastered the time-management. To this day…time is still
AN ETERNAL ENEMY!